How to Be Happy

To give more credibility and power to a saying or passage, someone will attribute it to a famous person. For example, Abraham Lincoln would be surprised at the number of things he allegedly said. Recently on Facebook a talk appeared that was attributed to Pope Francis. Now this pope has said a number of beautiful things, but this talk wasn’t one of them. After a little research, a man discovered that the source was a loose English translation of “Palco de vida” attributed to the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935).

Regardless of the incorrect attribution, the passage contains sound, practical advice. I thought it was worth passing on to you….

“You can have flaws, be anxious and even be angry, but do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can stop it from failing.

You are appreciated, admired and loved by so many. Remember that being happy is not about having a sky without storm, a road without accidents, a job without effort, a relationship without disappointments.

“To be happy means to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in fear, love in discord. It’s not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness. It’s not just about celebrating success, it’s about learning from failures. It’s not just about feeling happy with applause, it’s about being happy in anonymous. Being happy is not a fatality of fate, but an achievement for those who can travel within themselves.

“To be happy is to stop feeling like a victim and become the author of your own fate. It’s walking through deserts, but being able to find an oasis deep in the soul. Is thanking God every morning for the miracle of life. Being happy is not being afraid of your feelings and being able to talk about yourself. Have the courage to hear a “no” and find confidence in criticism, even when it’s unwarranted. It’s kissing your children, cuddling your parents, having poetic moments with your friends, even when they hurt us.

“Being happy is letting the creature that lives in each of us live, free, joyful and simple. You have the maturity to be able to say: “I’ve made mistakes.” It’s having the courage to say I’m sorry. It’s having the sense to say “I need you.” Is having the ability to say “I love you.” May your life become a garden of opportunities for happiness… that in spring he may be a lover of joy and in winter a lover of wisdom.

“And when you make a mistake, start over. Because only then will you be in love with life. You’ll discover that being happy isn’t having a perfect life. But use tears to irrigate tolerance. Use your defeats to train your patience.

“Use your mistakes with the serenity of the sculptor. Use pain to tune into pleasure. Use obstacles to open the windows of intelligence. Never give up … Above all never give up on the people that love you. Never give up on being happy, because life is an incredible spectacle.”

• Which piece of advice speaks to you? What advice can you add?

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